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Hero pastor attacks church gunman with chair to thwart shooting

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Photo by Katie McTiernan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A Laguna Woods, California, pastor was instrumental in thwarting a shooting at an area church, the Los Angeles Times has reported.

The attack took the life of at least one congregant and injured five.

What are the details?

Former Pastor Billy Chang was visiting his previous congregation at the Geneva Presbyterian Church on Sunday when a gunman entered the church and began shooting at luncheon-goers.

Chang jumped into action and grabbed a chair, striking the suspect and helping to subdue him.

Churchgoer Jerry Chen told the outlet that he heard the shots ring out from another room.

"Everyone had just finished lunch," he explained. "They were taking photos with Pastor Chang. I had just finished my lunch and went into the kitchen."

While inside the kitchen, Chen recalled hearing what he believed to be gunshots. He was right.

"I heard the gun sounds," he said. "Then I heard two or three more gunshots. He was just randomly shooting."

Chen said that as the suspect stopped to reload his gun, Chang deftly grabbed a chair and swung at the unnamed man.

Other parishioners at that time quickly entered the fray and were able to tackle the suspect and hog-tie him with an extension cord.

"This is just so sad," Chen added. "I never, ever thought something like this would happen in my church, in my community."

What else is there to know about this?

Laguna Woods Undersheriff Jeff Hallock said that the churchgoers exhibited "exceptional heroism and bravery."

"It’s safe to say that had they not intervened, this situation could have been much worse," he said.

Police stated that an Asian man in his late 60s was taken into custody in connection with the incident.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in a statement said that he was monitoring the incident.

“No one should have to fear going to their place of worship," he said of the attack. "Our thoughts are with the victims, community, and all those impacted by this tragic event."

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